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Group of Friends Has Never Missed Superbowl

They remember Super Bowls played in the afternoon, tickets that sold for $12 and programs that went for a buck. There are pictures of them attending games in the 1960s wearing ties and fedora hats typical of that era.

These guys were there for the first Super Bowl in January of 1967 and will be there for Sunday's 44th Super Bowl.

And they were present for all the games in between -- which makes Donald Crisman, Larry Jacobson, Thomas Henschel, and Robert Cook not only loyal fans, but Super Fans.

The Greater Miami Convention and Visitor's Bureau brought them together Thursday afternoon to toast a lifetime of Super Bowl memories.

``It's true I could sit home and watch it on television, even when I had a 17-inch set instead of the 52-inch I have now,'' Jacobson said. ``I could sit in front of that TV and see more details than I ever could see in the stadium. But I do it because it's what I do. That's all I can say.''

Henschel is a Steelers fan who has lived in Chicago, Miami Springs and now in Tampa. The Super Bowl fever struck him when he was an airline ticket agent at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

``I worked at the airport in the daytime and at night I was a part-time bartender,'' Henschel said. ``And outside of O'Hare was this bar called Some Other Place and all these flight attendants would flock there.

``So in came these ballplayers chasing these women and I met a lot of these ballplayers. I got tickets to the Cubs games, the Bears games. I got tickets given to me for the first couple of Super Bowls.''

He was hooked. And once he attended five, 10 games, there was no choice but keep going.

``There were years we had to pay scalpers,'' Henschel said. ``I'm talking about $1,200-1,400 apiece for tickets.

Fortunately, the last 14 years, the NFL found out about us and has been sending us the invoice for tickets at face value.''

The so-called Never Miss a Super Bowl Club did have five members until recently.

``We were five but we lost one member of our group,'' Crisman said. ``He turned 84 and became immobile. I'm hoping to make 50 Super Bowls. I'll be 80 years old by then and, God willing, I'll be there. Maybe my Patriots will be there, too.''

Memories? Yeah, they have had a few.

Jacobson, from San Francisco, was clearly disappointed with his end zone seat in Super Bowl XXIII. His 49ers trailed much of the game before Joe Montana directed a last-minute 92-yard drive.

Montana threw the winning touchdown to John Taylor with 34 seconds to play.

The score happened right in front of Jacobson.

``I had lousy seats,'' Jacobson said, ``but it was the perfect seat for that play.''

Cook is a big Packers fan. But really, he's a big football fan.

``To me there's three seasons, not four,'' he said. ``It's preseason, regular season and postseason.''

Crisman reminds everyone that the first Super Bowls were actually called AFL-NFL World Championship games. His favorite memory after 43 of those title games?

``I can't pick a favorite,'' he said. ``Ask me the question next week and I'll say this game was.''

COURTESY: MIAMI NEWS HERALD


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